Why We Love This Hotel
- We went & were impressed by the funky decor such as the transparent piano
- The location is hard to beat -- it's near Earls Court & Kensington Gardens
- You'll be within walking distance of the Natural History, Science & V&A Museums
Hotel Xenia is a white-pillared Victorian building in South Kensington, a few minutes' walk from Earls Court, Kensington Gardens and attractions such as the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum. The Royal Albert Hall is 15 minutes' walk away and Gloucester Road Tube station, which offers easy access to the West End and Oxford Street, is also nearby.
The lobby is a feast for the eyes, where Vivienne Westwood tapestries, shimmering green chandeliers and faux-snakeskin chairs combine in a fun, modern way.
Rooms are decorated in what Condé Nast Traveller calls, "muted biscuit shades", with photos of London landmarks and Union flag-decorated pillows. Xenia is tech-savvy: Wi-Fi is free, plug sockets are international and tablets by the bed are loaded with local information and room-service menus.
Some of the Classic Rooms are on the small side, but this is common in London's historic buildings. However, some do have balconies, and Executive Rooms have more space around the king-size bed. Extra marks for the espresso machines and treats at turndown time.
Evoluzione, the hotel's conservatory restaurant, marries traditional Italian cooking with nutritional science -- expect delights on the menu such as passatelli with parmesan fondue, and grilled lobster with thyme prawns. We also love that there are 3-course meals adding up to less than 800 calories, so you're unlikely to leave the hotel any heavier. There's also a bright champagne bar and the seductive Living Wall cocktail bar with a heated terrace in the herb garden.